5 Reasons Applying To College Without Knowing Your Admissions Counselor Is A HUGE MISTAKE! (With Bonus PRO TIPS)

Show of hands please… how many think that colleges do not have a personal connection with students during the admissions process? Well, you are mostly correct if you do not utilize this one resource available to every student at every college!

I am talking about the admissions counselor of course.  This counselor’s entire job is to connect with you during the admission process!  They work hard to help students complete the process and match the college or university with amazing potential.  Below are some specific reasons why you should never neglect to connect with your admissions counselor when completing your college applications.

1. Answer Your Questions

On the most basic (but still extremely helpful!) level, your counselor can answer your questions about the school or the application.  If you have a question about how to complete your application or where you should submit your transcripts, your counselor can help!  They can also help you find people on campus that you may need to talk to like the financial aid office.

2. Point You In The Right Direction

One of the many parts of a counselor’s job is to recruit students that are an excellent match for the school.  Let’s face it; not every student is a good match sometimes simply based on personal preferences.  Your counselor can help determine your fit at the university and steer you in the right direction (sometimes this may be to another school!).  They will be happy to talk with you about majors, college strengths and weakness, and the lifestyle of the surrounding community.

3. Give You Crucial Advice

If you have a good relationship with your counselor, they will be much more willing to help you out even further!  After hearing some of your personal experiences, they can help suggest topics for essays or ways to boost your application.  Sometimes, your counselor may even have some tricks up their sleeve such as talking to a specific professor or other little known resources.

4. Help Solve Problems

Are your test scores lost?  Are you having trouble getting that third letter of recommendation?  Did your online application suddenly crash?  Do you have trouble sleeping at night?  You need… THE NEW AND IMPROVED ADMISSIONS COUNSELOR!!

Ok, so maybe they can’t help rock you to sleep each night.  But, if you are having issues that are causing you to loose sleep, call up your counselor to see if they can lend a hand (or a pillow).

5. Handle Special Circumstances

In some cases, there are special circumstances to be considered during admissions.  For example, maybe you had surgery and a long recovery period during your sophomore year in high school that dramatically affected your grades.  Now, your overall GPA has suffered because of that year.  These are the types of special situations that you will want to discuss with your counselor.  They can help you determine the best way to handle this, and be an excellent advocate for you beyond your GPA.

PRO TIPS:

1. Don’t Make Mom Call – Is your Mom going to college or you?  Your admissions counselor is not going to be happy (or impressed) with you if Mom has to do all of the communication.

2. Ask About Special Programs – These counselors are smart, and they know a lot about the college.  Ask if they know of any special programs that have scholarships or any thing particular for your potential majors.

3. Get Personal – I don’t mean asking them inappropriate personal questions!  Instead, talk with your counselor about the experiences you’ve had in high school such as extra-curricular activities, sports, leadership positions, community service, etc.  They can help you know how to incorporate these into you application.

 

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Give Your Best Advice To Future College Students on How to Stay Out of DEBT

College is expensive.  There are many ways to help fund your education (see I Could Save HOW MUCH on college?!?), but sometimes you are still left with a bill.  While loans are an effective way to get an excellent education to further your career and income, it would also be great to avoid accumulating a hefty debt before receiving your diploma.

Today, we want to hear from our readers.  For those of you that have gone through college or paid for a child to go to college, please help future college students and parents by sharing your best advice to stay out of the red during these important years!  Your advice will be helping future college students and their parents save time and money and ultimately helping to develop healthy leaders for tomorrow!

Write your advice in the comments below to give your feedback!

 

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Meet A Co-Founder – Ben Tincher Edition

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Meet A Co-Founder – Lynn Walter Edition

Who is Lynn Walter? What makes him tick? Lynn likes to do WHAT!?

Today is the second installment of the Meet A Co-Founder .  Now it is Lynn Walter’s turn to answer the tough questions…  Again, leave us your own questions for Lynn in the comments!

See the first edition of the Meet A Co-Founder Here.

 What is your full name?

Lynn Eric Walter

Where are you from?

Hutchinson, KS

Where do you live now?

Ormond Beach, FL

Relationship status?

Single

Where did you attend college and what did you study?

McPherson College, Business Administration with Management Emphasis

What else did you do in college?

 

Played Basketball, Ran Track

What is one thing that you remember about entering college for the first semester?

It was a hard first semester, I didn’t know I had picked the 3 classes with the most homework all the same semester, and I didn’t like my first roommate at all. He had a clicking keyboard that he would game on till 3 am and let my TV get stolen by not locking the dorm room.

Why are you starting College Career Success?

 

I want students to be confident in their college and career choices because they know and understand the way they are wired and that helps them make better choices.  I think better college choices will lead to a more engaged work force creating better employees and businesses if they aren’t ridden with debt and enjoy their work.

What is one thing that you are glad you did in college that has benefited you today?

Joined the business club and became friends with my adviser and professors, who I still stay in contact with.

What is one thing that you wish you could have done differently during college?

Sought out internships and experienced different jobs while i was in school; maybe studied abroad as well.

What are your hobbies?

Wakeboarding, officiating basketball, public speaking, triathlons.

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Photo Credit: Nathan Gilmer

I Could Save HOW MUCH on college?!?

College is expensive.  And, it is getting more expensive each semester.  In fact, in many cases, inflation of the cost of college is outpacing inflation of household incomes.  College is still the best path to a solid and fulfilling career though.  Use these tips and tools to save A TON of money on college.  Some have saved $10,000 or more!

  1. CLEP testing

College Level Examination Program, or CLEP, is hosted by College Board and can give college credit to courses just by taking and passing an exam.  You don’t have to pay to take the course at your college; you can simply just take the test and get the credit saving you a TON of time and money!  Whether you already know the material well enough or want to learn the course on your own, either way you can take the test when you are ready.

There are 33 CLEP courses available and are accepted by 2900 colleges and universities.  Check on the College Board website to learn more about CLEP testing.  Check with your college or university to determine if CLEP credit is accepted.

  1. Work study

Work study is an excellent way to save money while you are taking courses at college.  Work study programs offer either pay for jobs around campus or paid tuition.  Look on your school’s website or ask personnel on campus to find out how to sign up for a work study program.  PRO TIP: Find a job on campus that will allow you to do your schoolwork while working such as working at the front desk of a dorm building.  Now, you are getting paid to do your homework!

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  1. Tuition Reimbursement

Tuition reimbursement is a special program that many employers (outside of the university) will offer to their employees.  Typically, the company will offer a certain amount of tuition dollars per semester or year for the employee to earn a degree or take classes that are applicable to the work/industry of the company.

Tuition reimbursement option can be a great option if you are already working and cannot afford to take off work to go to school full time.  It may take you longer in the end to earn a degree, but you can save a TON of money!  Even if you are fresh out of high school and not working, you can find a job with an employer that offers a tuition reimbursement program to fund your way to college.  Many companies now offer this for their hourly employees; a quick Google search will help you find one in your neighborhood!

  1. Specialized Scholarships

If you are looking to go to college soon or are already in college, look for scholarship opportunities that are very specialized.  You have a better chance of getting scholarships that are limited to people with certain characteristics if you qualify.  It seems there are scholarships for just about anything… from learning styles to first family member to attend college are applicable.

Look on the local, state, and national level including local, state, and federal government opportunities.  Be keen on things that may apply to you personally that will not apply to the majority of people currently going to college.  If you fit the bill, apply for the scholarship and save a TON of money!

  1. Core Classes at Community or Local College

This option is available to most everyone planning on going to a costly public or private college!  To save a TON of money, take the majority of your core classes at a community or local college.  Usually, the tuition for these classes will be much cheaper at the local school than the larger private or public school.  After completing the core classes, transfer your credits to the school of your choice and finish your degree there.  Make sure that the school of your choice will accept your credits at the local school first though!

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      7. WUE

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program is established to serve western states of the US.  The program offers reduced tuition for universities participating in the program.  According to the WICHE.EDU website, ‘Students who are residents of WICHE states are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state.’  Check out the WUE program if you live in the western part of the US to see if you and your University are eligible to participate.

Make Less, Earn More

The Yerkes-Dodson Law – Huh? Don’t Stress About It… Or Do!

image source: http://bit.ly/2liUavK

 

Meet A Co-Founder – Ben Tincher Edition

Today we will be looking into the history and life of one of our Co-Founders.  Ben Tincher is here to answer the tough questions…  Please leave us your own question for Ben in the comments!

 What is your full name?

Benjamin Tincher

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in a town outside of Atlanta named Conyers, GA

Where do you live now?

I currently live in Ormond Beach, FL.  My wife and I moved to Golden, CO for a year which we loved but family, cost of living, and job opportunities has brought us back to FL where we were before we moved.

Relationship status?

I am married to the most beautiful, caring, and dedicated wife.  Her name is Melissa.

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Where did you attend college and what did you study?

I attended undergraduate school at Clemson University and studied Materials Engineering.  I then attended graduate school at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where I studied Aerospace Engineering.

What else did you do in college?

I did many things in college outside of the classroom, but the thing that I did the most was play on the club Ultimate team.  I loved playing Ultimate, going to practice, seeing teammates around campus, going to weekend tournaments at other colleges, and getting together for team social events.  Ultimate was more than just a sport, it was my extended family while I was on campus.

The other thing that I really enjoyed during college was D1 sports games, especially football and basketball.  I knew I wanted to go to a school with D1 athletics before I entered college, so I had that as one of my school selection criteria.  This criteria was not my main one of course and isn’t a good one for everybody, but I knew I would love the sports teams.

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What is one thing that you remember about entering college for the first semester?

I remember a whole lot of excitement and nervousness mixed together.  The freshmen got to campus a week early before classes began and that week just felt like summer camp!  Which was awesome… and weird at the same time.  But, as soon as classes began and the campus filled up, I felt like a part of the community in no time.  I think that is why it is very important to consider the atmosphere of a college when choosing one.  You will want to feel like a part of the community.  I felt very comfortable at Clemson, and I believe that helped me a lot in my studies.  I didn’t feel as comfortable at Embry-Riddle because the dynamics of the school were a lot different than Clemson and my coursework was different too.  So, I had to learn how to shift a little bit in grad school.

Why are you starting College Career Success?

I see a lot of students that simply do not have the necessary tools and insight to make fully considered decisions when choosing where and how to go to college and what to study.  When students don’t know what they want or even how to figure out what they want, it can cost them A TON of time and money down the road.  The awful thing is that these decisions made just out of high school don’t really catch up to you until early in your professional career.  The time when you need security and confidence the most!

A college graduate can suddenly find himself in major financial debt only to realize that they have a college degree in a field that they are not truly interested in.  But, to pay off all the debt, the graduate must get a job anyway if possible.  All of these decisions were made long before this realization.

I really want to help young students better understand themselves and their potential future, so that they can set themselves on the right path for college and career success.  I wonder where we got the name…

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What is one thing that you are glad you did in college that has benefitted you today?

Probably the best thing I did for my profession in college was complete several different internships.  Internships gave me first hand experience into potential careers.  I was able to learn what I liked and what I didn’t like in different jobs.  I gained professional skills not taught in the classroom.  And, I earned a paycheck!

What is one thing that you wish you could have done differently during college?

I wish that I could have known all the tips and tricks as a freshman that I knew as a senior.  I know that sounds a little obvious, but there were many things that someone could’ve simply told me.  Instead I had to learn a lot of things by experience.  Simple things from buying textbooks to how to study for tests.  It would have been nice to learn a lot of it sooner; it certainly would have saved me a lot of time and money!  Sneak peek in the future of College Career Success… we hope to create a course for freshman who are just beginning college to help them with all of these tips and tricks!

What are your hobbies?

I am an engineer to the core, so I love to build things!  Cars, boats, motorcycles, rc boats, planes, cars… anything that can be designed and built.  I also still like to play Ultimate.  And, I’m attempting to make furniture a little bit.

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